Readers and authors

I follow Andi Marquette‘s blog, where she posted a link to a bookriot rant titled: Readers Don’t Owe Authors Sh*tI’m guessing a lot of authors are gonna get pissed about that, but honestly, it’s the truth. The reader doesn’t owe you a damn thing. Say someone likes one of your books, and even said they liked it publicly. Well, they are in no way duty bound to pick up another one of your books ever again. That’s just the way it is.

I have found that the boundary between an author and their readers can become very blurry. I’ve particularly noticed this in lesbian fiction, where the community is much smaller than their mainstream counterparts. I also think this shady boundary leads to rabid fangirls who will pounce when they sniff negativity towards their author of choice, but that’s a whole other can of worms.

There have been times when I have mentioned a book on Goodreads  and said ‘eh, I’m not really interested in that book because the plot just doesn’t do it for me’. One was written by an author who’s books I had previously enjoyed and rated highly. I then received private messages from the author, where they tried to convince me to buy the book, even though I have no interest in reading it. I consider that an unacceptable level of harassment, not to mention awful salesmanship. In my opinion, if you want fans, you put out a quality product. If people like it, they will continue buying it, positively review it, and even yell from the rooftops that they think it’s great. But being in the business of writing (or movie making, or the construction of any consumer-based product whatsoever) there is an inherent risk that people won’t buy it, or like it.

And you take that risk, balancing it against how much you enjoy putting out said product. If it’s worth the risk, you go for it! But don’t go hassling people and begging them to read it, cause you just come off looking like an asshole.

Them’s my two cents. Take it or leave it, as you are under zero obligation to ‘like’, ‘share’, or agree with said post. Print it off and wipe your ass with it if you want! Free country, and all that.

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Readers and authors

8 thoughts on “Readers and authors

  1. I haven’t read the post that you reference but I completely agree. Feedback and repeat business isn’t an obligation. And for an author to contact you to try to convince you to spend your money on another of her books is ridiculous. Arguing and debating certainly won’t make me want to read your words or give you my money.

    I’ve got loads of lesfic reading friends that don’t listen to Cocktail Hour. Not only don’t I ask their reasons for not listening but I never ask them to try it. The info is out there and if they’re interested, they’ll give it a shot. I would never imagine contacting them and begging them to listen. Ok, I did that with Iman a few times but that’s because she’d ask me questions about specific shows and I got tired of doing the recaps and just finally would say “go fucking listen for yourself! Damn!” But that’s totally different. And the podcast is free. We actually give prizes for listening!

    Oh, and here’s a tip for authors from readers – don’t PM me other people’s reviews of your only book that’s five years old after I’ve said repeatedly, “no, thank you.” That gets you blocked and reported as a spammer. Because, really, no one cares that Dakota Fanning loves your words.

    Sorry. I hate being marketed to in a place where marketing doesn’t belong.

  2. bevprescott says:

    You said it sister. Thanks for saying and telling it like it is. We could all use a little more of that for lots of good reasons.

  3. I disappoint plenty but I can usually be counted on to speak up (out?) when it comes to stuff like this.

    One thing that I’m seeing more and more discussion about is the quality of published lesfic. I’m seeing blog posts and conversations on various message boards all over the place and I’m excited to know that there are so many readers finally standing up to demand quality products from authors and publishers. Just imagine where the genre will be in 10 years!

    Again, without reading the source article, I’m wondering how much of these unprofessional interactions come from being such a new industry for lesfic. Comparitively, lesbian fiction publishing is very new – just a few decades, really, and because it is still so new and such a small community, the lines of professional behavior (behaviour for Cari and our other non-American friends) become blurry. I panned Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol publicly and I never once thought I’d get a PM from him on Goodreads wanting to know why I thought it was a massive piece of crap. But there are several lesfic authors that I have no doubt would do just that. And if they didn’t, there would be a few of their fans bashing my review and me personally.

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